Cuba attracts 4 mln tourists in 2018 despite sharp drop in U.S. visitors

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Cuba on Saturday announced that the number of international tourists to the Caribbean nation so far this year has reached 4 million despite a sharp drop in U.S. visitors due to Washington’s policy which restricts Americans’ traveling to the island.

According to a Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) release, the figure hits the mark of 4 million four days earlier than the previous year and Cuba looks to attract by the end of 2018 some 4.75 million international visitors, a record-high figure.

“This result is achieved despite media campaigns to discredit Cuba as a tourism destination amidst the measures to intensify economic blockade imposed by the United States,” said the statement.

In the first half of this year, 266,445 Americans traveled to Cuba, down by 28 percent from a year ago.

Canada continues to be the most important source country for tourists to the island country, while visitors from European nations like Spain, France, Britain, Germany and Russia have increased substantially, according to the release.

The tourism industry is the second source of foreign currency income for Cuba following professional services abroad.

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